Root Canal Post-Treatment Care
When most people hear the words “root canal,” they immediately think of pain and discomfort, but the truth of the matter is that most of them likely haven’t had one, and aren’t aware that the procedure is largely pain free due to modern advancements in dentistry and surgical technology..
People expect the procedure to be uncomfortable, but dental science has progressed considerably. Most of the pain you may experience will be due to you needing a root canal or if your tooth is impacted, not the actual treatment itself.
Root canals are among the most common dental procedures that are performed by dentists and endodontists in the US. In fact, millions of root canals are done every single year.
If you happen to be one of those millions of people, it is best to be prepared because after care has much to do with how you heal and the level of discomfort you experience.. This article will go over some helpful information about root canals and informative post-treatment care tips, all of which can ensure you make informed decisions and treat your teeth right.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. This treatment is performed when the pulp, composed of nerves and blood vessels in the tooth, becomes infected or damaged. During a root canal, the pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
A modern root canal treatment is not the same as in decades past, and is more similar to a routine filling in terms of discomfort and healing time. These treatments can usually be completed in one or two appointments, depending on the condition of the tooth needing the procedure. Getting a root canal is relatively painless and extremely effective at remediating moderate infection and saving from bone loss and prolonged complications.
A root canal is performed when a dentist or endodontist removes the infected pulp and nerves in the root of the tooth, then cleans and shapes the inside of the root canal, and lastly fills and seals the space. Afterward, your dentist will place a crown on the tooth to protect and restore it to its original function.
Post Treatment: What to Expect
For the first few days after a root canal, some patients may experience sensitivity, swelling, and/or inflammation. Your dentist will get you on a pain regulation regimen and you will set up a follow-up to make sure everything is healing correctly.
Aftercare Do’s and Don’ts
Like with all other dental procedures, the aftercare is important for sustainable results. Recovery starts with proper aftercare and like any surgery or medical procedure, there are ways you can help or hurt your progress in healing. Here are some of the most important rules to try and abide by while recovering from a root canal.
What Not To Do:
- Do not eat immediately after the procedure. Your mouth may still be numb, which makes it easier to bite yourself and have other accidents.
- Do not chew hard and crunchy foods as you are still in recovery. Give your tooth ample time to heal before you can resume your normal lifestyle.
- Do not brush your teeth aggressively. While you want to keep away plaque, you are not seeking to damage your fillings or cause extreme hypersensitivity.
- Do not avoid going to follow-up appointments. These appointments are important and help your doctor to keep track of how you are healing and check for any complications.
- Do not smoke immediately after a root canal. Also, smokers are twice as likely to need root canals, so quitting is recommended for everyone.
- Do not try to drive immediately after your treatment.
What to Do:
- Do brush and floss your teeth, just be gentle.
- Do contact your dentist or doctor if you think your filling has come out or feels uncomfortable.
- Do track the swelling on your tooth. During the first few days after treatment, swelling is not unusual. However, it should keep going down as you heal. If not, contact your dentist.
- Do go to regular checkups, even after your root canal is healed.
Gentle and Caring Dental Expertise
While cutting-edge dental technology is beneficial, it can’t do you much good if your dentist doesn’t have access to them or, worse, is not appropriately trained in their use.
Serving The Woodlands, Benders Landing, Woodforest, Spring, and the Conroe/Montgomery area, Dr. Carrie Muzny DDS has invested in cutting edge painless and sedation dental procedures so she may best serve clients with top-quality care, comfort, and convenience.
We are dedicated to you and your family’s dental health and to continual learning, which is exemplified by our broad range of painless and efficient procedures—cosmetic, surgical, or otherwise—that can only be accomplished using the latest technology.